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In This Edition

Norman Solomon thinks, "Ro Khanna And Barbara Lee Could Defy "The Madness Of Militarism" As Co-Chairs Of The Democratic Convention's Biggest Delegation."

Ralph Nader concludes, "Trump And Pence - Step Aside for Professional Pandemic Scientists And Managers."

Glen Ford warns, "Don't Let The Democratic Party Bury The Movement."

Jim Hightower says, "Meet The Slaphappy Governor Of Texas."

William Rivers Pitt warns, "Beware Of Anti-Trump Republicans Who Endorse Joe Biden."

John Nichols says to, "Topple The Electoral College."

James Donahue finds, "News Stories Reflect Growing Human Lunacy."

David Swanson considers, "The Beginning Of The End."

David Suzuki finds, "Green Recovery Gains Momentum As World Confronts Multiple Crises."

Charles P. Pierce exclaims, "Please Welcome To The Stage...The Ayn Rand Institute!"

Juan Cole considers, "Coal And Covid."

North Carolina mayor Jerry Peterman wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich says, "Trump And The GOP's Handling Of Covid-19 Is Sheer Lunacy."

Jane Stillwater gets, "Haunted In Arkansas."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Waterford Whispers News, reports "No Donuts If Innocent Civilian Murdered:" US Police Reforms Revealed, but first Uncle Ernie sez, "WHO Are You,?" asked Lying Donald.

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Martin Kozlowski, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Joshua Roberts, Jeff Swensen, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Brendan Smialowski, Don Tormey, Robert Reich, Jane Stillwater, Jim Hightower, AFP, Unsplash, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, Black Agenda Report, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments-

The Quotable Quote-
The Vidkun Quisling Award-
The Cartoon Corner-
To End On A Happy Note-
Have You Seen This-
Parting Shots-

Welcome one and all to "Uncle Ernie's Issues & Alibis."

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"WHO Are You,?" asked Lying Donald.
By Ernest Stewart

"China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year," ~~~ Lying Donald

"For way too long, the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything to fight the climate crisis, but we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer. We are striking because we have done our homework and they have not." ~~~ Greta Thunberg

"It is appalling that Alamance County officials would trample on the First Amendment rights of their own constituents for the sake of a monument to white supremacy." ~~~ Kristi Graunke ~ ACLU of North Carolina

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me
Help ~~~ The Beatles

Only Lying Donald is so stupid that he thinks pulling out of the World Health Organization especially after his handling of the disaster he created called Covid-19, is something to brag about!

On Tuesday the White House officially moved to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO), a senior administration official confirmed, breaking ties with a global public health body in the middle of a pandemic. I mean WTF, America?

Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), said:

"Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the US from the WHO in the midst of a pandemic." He continued, "To call Trump's response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn't do it justice. This won't protect American lives or interests - it leaves Americans sick & America alone," the senator tweeted.

Lying Donald has said:

"We will be terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and directing those funds" to other global public health charities.

"The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government," China has instigated a global pandemic.

"The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China?" he added. "It didn't go to Beijing, it went nowhere else, but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States."

The president accused China of pressurising the WHO to "mislead the world" about the virus, without giving evidence for his allegations.

"China has total control over the World Health Organization." Lying Donald said.

On the plus side while the U.S. has submitted its withdrawal notification to the United Nations secretary-general. Withdrawal requires a year's notice, so it will not go into effect until July 6, 2021. Joe Biden has said, "On my first day as President, I will rejoin the WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage." We can but hope!

In Other News

I see where as scientists work to determine why some of the latest climate models suggest the future could be warmer than previously thought, a new study indicates the reason is likely related to challenges simulating the formation and evolution of clouds.

The new research, published in Science Advances, gives an overview of 39 updated models that are part of a major international climate endeavor, the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). The models will also be analyzed for the upcoming sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or (IPCC).

When compared with older models, a subset of these updated models has shown a higher sensitivity to carbon dioxide - that is, more warming for a given concentration of the greenhouse gas, though a few showed lower sensitivity as well. The end result is a greater range of model responses than any preceding generation of models, dating back to the early 1990s. If the models on the high end are correct and Earth is truly more sensitive to carbon dioxide than scientists had thought, the future could also be much warmer than previously projected. But it's also possible that the updates made to the models between the last intercomparison project and this one are causing or exposing errors in their results.

In the new paper, the authors sought to systematically compare the CMIP6 models with previous generations and to catalog the likely reasons for the expanded range of sensitivity.

"Many research groups have already published papers analyzing possible reasons why the climate sensitivity of their models changed when they were updated," said Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and lead author of the new study. "Our goal was to look for any themes that were emerging, especially with the high-sensitivity models. The thing that came up again and again is that cloud feedbacks in general, and the interaction between clouds and tiny particles called aerosols in particular, seem to be contributing to higher sensitivity."

The research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, which is NCAR's sponsor. Other supporters include the U.S. Department of Energy, the Helmholtz Society, and Deutsches Klima Rechen Zentrum (Germany's climate computing center).

Meanwhile in the Italian Alps the ice is turning pink due to global warming-linked algae.

In a first for Italy, pink snow is observed on parts of the Presena glacier, in the north of the country. The phenomenon is caused by algae that develops when snow melts, simultaneously colouring the ice a darker colour. In a vicious circle, the algae in turn increases the rate at which the snow melts by accelerating the absorption of radiation. Biagio Di Mauro, a researcher from the National Research Council is investigating the phenomenon.

Here we have an "Air Quality Alert for Metro Detroit all day. It's the same as an Ozone Action Day and it's a chemical reaction between the sun and the stagnant, hot air and pollutants at the surface." It's been above 90 F for the last week and will be for another week to come, breaking records for continuous days above 90 degrees! Lucky for me that I live mostly in my office, down in the man cave and like vampires I only come out at night, always wearing my mask and gloves!

And Finally

I see where Jerry Peterman a 7 time mayor of Graham, North Carolina has decided that he has the power to overturn the 1st amendment to the US Constitution. On June 25th Graham Mayor Jerry Peterman issued an executive order to shut down protests at the courthouse overturning the Bill of Rights. On June 26th the sherriff and police department complied.

As you can imagine that's when it hit the fan! "This ordinance is a sweeping bar to the rights of people to freely assemble and protest in Graham. People have a constitutional right to gather and voice their concerns in public areas without fear of arrest, harassment, or intimidation from law enforcement," said Kristi Graunke with the ACLU of North Carolina.

I think Sheriff Terry Johnson said that he was, "Only Following ze orders." Ya?

Be that as it may, Jerry wins this week's Vidkun Quisling Award!

Keepin' On

If you think that what we do is important and would like to see us keep on, keeping on, please send us whatever you can, whenever you can, and we'll keep telling you the truth!


09-17-1978 ~ 07-05-2020
Thanks for the films!

11-10-1928 ~ 07-06-2020
Thanks for the music!

10-28-1936 ~ 07-06-2020
Thanks for the music!

04-29-1930 ~ 07-06-2020
Thanks for the music!

01-09-1926 ~ 07-09-2020
Thanks for the laughs!


We get by with a little help from our friends!
So please help us if you can-?


So how do you like Trump so far?
And more importantly, what are you planning on doing about it?

Until the next time, Peace!

(c) 2020 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, philosopher, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. and like us when you do. Follow me on Twitter.

Ro Khanna And Barbara Lee Could Defy "The Madness Of Militarism" As Co-Chairs Of The Democratic Convention's Biggest Delegation
By Norman Solomon

One of the few encouraging surprises in the lead-up to the 2020 Democratic National Convention is that co-chairs of California's huge delegation will include Representatives Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee. Progressive activism made it possible -- winning caucus races to elect strong Bernie Sanders delegates in early June and then organizing a grassroots campaign for Khanna to become chair of the state's entire delegation.

Now, for Khanna and Lee -- two of the most eloquent and effective members of Congress on matters of war and peace -- the upcoming convention offers an opportunity to directly challenge the Democratic Party's default embrace of what Martin Luther King Jr. called "the madness of militarism."

Mainline media outlets have recognized the symbolism, if not the potential, of what just occurred. Reporting has explained that progressive clout prevented Gov. Gavin Newsom from becoming the chair of the delegation, with the result that co-chair positions went to Khanna, Lee and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

"For the past two weeks," the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "Sanders supporters have argued that his March 3 primary win in California meant a progressive like Khanna -- an early endorser of the Vermont senator and a national co-chair of his presidential campaign -- should be the face of the state's delegation."

The newspaper added: "The agreement is a definite win for California progressives, who got Khanna and Lee. While Lee backed California Sen. Kamala Harris in the primary, she's an icon on the left for her history as an antiwar activist and her support for most of Sanders' platform. . . . Progressives managed to block Newsom, who endorsed Biden in May, from a leading role. While Democratic governors typically lead their state's delegation to their party's convention, Newsom is persona non grata for California progressives."

On Monday, Politico summed up: "Bernie Sanders may not be the Democratic nominee, but his followers are flexing their muscle in California."

Politico pointed out that "the grassroots decision to sidestep Newsom was a clear departure from tradition -- and a signal that progressives who backed Sanders don't intend to be sidelined." Along the way, "the vote underscored Khanna's rise as a progressive wing leader to watch -- and cements his role as the captain of the Bernie movement in California. . . . He has galvanized progressive support with his active legislative record to curb the president's war powers and end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, among other issues."

Now, Khanna and Lee have a tremendous -- indeed, historic -- opportunity. Their full-throated voices for peace and justice should be widely heard in the context of the upcoming national convention.

This is a heavy burden of expectation to place on two members of Congress who are not in top "leadership" positions. Meanwhile, the burden should also be swiftly taken up by activists throughout the country.

Much is possible in a short time. As one of more than a hundred Sanders delegates elected in California a few weeks ago, I was inspired to see what we could achieve by working together to replace traditional power brokerage with genuine progressive leadership.

Warped budget priorities that have bloated the Pentagon's spending are thefts from desperately needed funds for health care and a huge array of social programs -- just as militarized police forces and bloated law-enforcement costs are continuing to drain the funds of local governments. In the midst of the pandemic, the need is vast and urgent for a massive redirection of funding, away from militarism and toward long-term measures to save lives.

Humanistic values insist that corporate Democrats must accommodate to progressive agendas, not the other way around. This certainly means disentangling the party from the military-industrial complex and multibillion-dollar health care profiteers.

While Dr. King condemned militarism's madness, he also denounced the cruelty of inequities in funding that undermine health. "Of all the forms of inequality," he said, "injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death."

Moral positions on these profound issues are in sync with public opinion. Over the last decade, one poll after another after another after another has reflected substantial support for reductions in military spending. Exit polls during this year's primary elections consistently showed overwhelming support for Medicare for All.

Understood broadly and deeply, the madness of militarism is not only the normalized frenzy of preparing for war and waging it. The madness extends to ongoing financial, social and psychological investments in routine institutionalized violence -- from militarizing police to glorifying suppression of civil unrest to devoting humongous resources to further military endeavors at the expense of vital social programs -- methodically taking lives instead of saving them.

Such destructive patterns can't be effectively challenged while deferring to hidebound party leaders. As co-chairs of the Democratic National Convention's largest delegation, Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee will only have a chance to change history for the better if they're willing to clearly and forcefully speak essential truths that powerful Democrats don't want the public to hear.

(c) 2020 Norman Solomon is co-founder of and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State."

Trump And Pence - Step Aside for Professional Pandemic Scientists And Managers
By Ralph Nader

Major changes in society can be accomplished by a fast-emerging, broad-based civic jolt so obvious and persuasive that it overwhelms the entrenched powers. The most urgent job is for people to organize to get Trump and Pence to step aside from their bungling, making-matters-worse mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic. The White House should let a professional pandemic control specialist with public health experience and an appreciation of science replace the current and ongoing Trump horror show.

Many Republican operatives watching the daily Trump virus spectacle are terrified by how the President fabricates, fantasizes, confuses, and endangers the country. As Trump lowers his and their poll numbers, Republicans would welcome such a replacement.

"We the People," are seeing the failing Donald Trump over-riding his own scientists and paralyzing any federal leadership and coordination of state efforts, as he measures all moves by his delusional ego. The citizenry must quickly mount irresistible pressure for Trump and Pence to step aside. Let Trump focus on the November election, which is all he cares about anyway, apart from watching Fox News for hours each day, lying to the public and endlessly tweeting slanders and insults.

Trump is so cruel and out of touch that he is letting his henchman cut nursing home safety regulations, end health and safety protections for workers, consumers, and communities, and pursue the end of Obamacare by stripping 23 million Americans of their health insurance. Doing this in the middle of a worsening killer pandemic is sheer madness. We have a president at the helm of a careening ship of state acting worse than Captain Queeg.

Would any community tolerate, in Maureen Dowd's words, such "chaos, cruelty, deception and incompetence," in their local public safety officials?

To be sure, there have been thousands of articles, columns, editorials, and TV/radio reports of the grotesque delays, perverse actions, quackery, and faking over the grim realities by Trump and Pence. All this takes place against the backdrop of his blundering son-in-law who is overseeing and furthering corrupt corporate bailouts. But, inexplicably, reporters and columnists avoid the conclusions that should stem from their own convictions and writings. One exception is the Washington Post editorial in May 2020, calling for Trump and Pence to step aside and let people who know what they're doing take the reins.

The country simply cannot wait until Inauguration Day, January 21, 2021. Every day the Trump virus spreads further, while its presidential enabler is making sure sick Americans are left unprotected, and workers are left unemployed. More and more innocents are paying the ultimate price for this public health and economic disaster.

The failed gambling czar, selected to be our fake president by the unelected Electoral College, crazily gives himself a "ten" rating, admits no mistakes, and refuses to learn from other nations' comparative successes against the virus.

Putting health professionals in charge of the "war" against the Covid-19 pandemic has worked in Taiwan, New Zealand, Thailand, Uruguay, and Canada's British Columbia and other countries with sane leadership. These countries are showing far, far superior life-saving results and fewer economic convulsions.

Mr. Trump, if you're not going to resign for America's sake, at the least, step aside for your own political campaign's sake. A coordinated civic jolt and a laser-beam demand from the people can make you and the alarmed GOP realize you are not capable of doing the job that needs to be done. Of course, if Congress wasn't a rubber stamp, our first branch of government could stop this lethal incompetence by mandating professional pandemic management.

For those doubters of this happening, remember the ringing statement by the demanding abolitionist Frederick Douglass - "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will". Trump is a paper mache figure who hides behind bluffs and snarls. A civic jolt can displace him much like the statutes of slavers.

Start your "step aside" demand by calling the White House opinion phone number 202-456-1111. Urge your friends to do the same. There is no time to delay.

(c) 2020 Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest book is The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. Other recent books include, The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood, Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win, and "Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us" (a novel).

Don't Let The Democratic Party Bury The Movement
By Glen Ford

The Black movement will be asphyxiated by the ubiquitous fingers of the Democratic Party if it does not build independent nexuses of people's power.

If power is measured by corporate endorsements and the kiss-up antics of Democratic politicians, the movement popularly known as "Black Lives Matter" is awesomely powerful, its name painted into the streets of cities across the nation. Record-breaking contributions have also flowed to a broad range of social justice organizations from the public-at-large, with bail funds amassing almost $100 million. Even tiny projects have seen their previously forlorn GoFundMe accounts suddenly stuffed with contributions.

The cash windfall alone is enough to make one giddy - including life-long activists old enough to have participated in the radical mass movements of half a century ago. The "fascist pigs" have not been "offed," but some of them have been indicted and Democratic politicians now claim they want to rein in the "warrior cops" that only yesterday were hailed as "heroes" of the constant "wars" waged against Black and brown America. "Policing" as we have known it has been discredited in ways that cannot easily be reversed, with 70 percent of white people under age 45 agreeing that George Floyd's killing was part of "a broader pattern of excessive police violence toward African-Americans." Sixty percent of white folks of all ages told New York Times pollsters they feel "positively" about the "Black Lives Matter" movement - meaning a significant slice of Trump supporters object to police behavior, as do overwhelming percentages of Black and brown Americans.

There is no doubt that, in the arena of public perception, we have witnessed a stunning rout of the forces that erected the modern Black Mass Incarceration State in response to the Black rebellions and radical movements of the 1960s. The Democratic Party - whose politicians of all races have for five decades been the hands-on urban managers of the world's largest police state - pretends to have suddenly seen the light. In Covid-19/Great Depression Two America, the servants of capital say we are all Black Lives Matter -- until the "crisis of legitimacy" passes.

But the oligarchs that rule this country and both its corporate parties have no intention of dismantling the racist police state, beyond staffing the blue legions with more Black, brown and female officers, embedding the multiracial occupation army deeper in our communities and increasing their intelligence capabilities. The "reforms" trotted out by local and national Democrats do not alter -- but rather, enhance and make culturally more palatable - the police mission to contain, control and politically neutralize Black America.

To dethrone the overtly racist and imperially undependable Donald Trump, the oligarchs ensured the presidential nomination of hapless Joe Biden, who vows to veto Medicare for All, opposes defunding the police, and whistles tunes of war with Russia (but doesn't remember the words). Biden personifies ruling class determination to double down on endless war, Race to the Bottom austerity, and an ever-expanding national security state, including the local police component -- the same policies that led to the Crisis of Legitimacy of 2020. (The Covid mass deaths and accompanying economic shutdown is the result of privatization and austerity). The oligarchs get what they pay for. Therefore, the Democrats will wipe the clown paint from their faces, fold up their kente cloths, and apologize to the cops for joining in the "dozens" circle ("Your cops so brutal..."), as soon as the movement has been sufficiently exhausted or co-opted.

If the "Black Lives Matter" movement is to be neutralized, it will be by capture/cooptation by the Democratic Party - just as befell the great mass Black movement of half a century ago. The oligarchs are now vastly more concentrated and powerful than in the previous era, and their Democratic duopoly apparatus has thoroughly infested every nook and cranny of Black civic life. The Democrats are the capitalist enemy within Black America, ultimately answerable to the same forces that pull Republican strings. The main difference is that Democrats, like most of the oligarchy, have seen the advantages of a diversified, multiracial management of Black grassroots unrest and repetitive capitalist crises. Send in the Kente squads.

Half a million or more protesters in the streets, resisting the police, brought people's politics back to life, but the Black movement will be asphyxiated by the ubiquitous fingers of the Democratic Party if it does not build independent nexuses of people's power. "Defunding the police" may result in some reshuffling of local budget funds to social services, but does not in itself transfer power over those services -- or the police -- to the people. Movement-speak is replete with the word "transformational," but only people's power can transform the relationship between the Black masses and the oligarchs' state. Cutting police budgets does not alter the anti-Black nature of the police mission, and neither does adding Black cops to the blue ranks. Only community control of the police can create the institutional people power to transform, and eventually do away with, policing as we know it. The cops will still be the cops, whatever their numbers and pay scales, unless they are made accountable to the communities they "serve," who will shape the security force's mission and manage and evaluate its performance.

Community control of the police is a project in democracy and Black self-determination, while defunding the police - inevitably, in practice - is an immersion in Democratic Party budgetary dickering that legitimizes the imposition of the police upon the people. It will suck the righteous energy out of the movement, while failing to transform any power relationships of importance. Along the way, key operatives will be "captured" as they form alliances with the "better" Democratic politicians in divvying up the budgetary spoils.

Instead, the demand for community control should be expanded to include people's control of social services, schools and the other institutions and services that organizers foresee benefiting from defunding the police. This approach allows the movement to make common cause with social service, education and other workers and professionals, broadening and deepening the movement beyond policing/security issues. - enough political fuel to stay in the streets as long as necessary.

If the movement is to be sustained, it must keep its focus on bringing Power to the People, and avoid Democratic Party diversions. They are the grave diggers of social movements.

(c) 2019 Glen Ford is the Black Agenda Report executive editor. He can be contacted at

Meet The Slaphappy Governor Of Texas
By Jim Hightower

Once again, my state of Texas is saddled with a Republican gubernatorial goober. Greg Abbott is this guy's name, and he's another incompetent, right-wing ideologue whose botched handling of our state's COVID-19 crisis makes Donald Trump look like a master administrator of public health.

First, as a small-minded, small-government zealot, Abbott obsequiously followed Trump's lead of do-nothingism, pretending the bad thing would just drift away. As a result, droves of Texans were dying, so he rushed out to express astonishment and concern. Yet, he cravenly refused to offend his corporate and far-right backers by implementing such life-saving measures as business closures, requiring masks in public, and stay-at-home orders. Worse, the little petty potentate infuriated local officials by banning them from taking protective actions in their communities.

Bizarrely, Abbott declared he was focused not on preventing infections, but on making sure there were enough hospital beds for those who get infected. He might as well have bragged that providing an adequate number of graves was his priority, for sure enough thousands more Texans were soon dying because of his incompetence.

Finally, the relentless death toll forced Abbott-the-Absent to enact a stay-at-home mandate... but he even bungled that by declaring it was not a stay-at-home order! Instead, he called its provisions "Essential Services and Activities Protocols.

Then he got really strange. After banning local officials from requiring mask-wearing in public, he playfully hinted that he'd hidden a trick door in that executive order allowing locals to take action - IF they could divine the riddle. The trick was that while mayors and others could not require face masks in public, they could require stores, bars offices, factories, and other businesses to require masks.

Isn't that fun! Playing pandemic word games with people's lives. Critics who say Republican leaders have no sense of humor haven't met Greg Abbott.

(c) 2020 Jim Hightower's latest book, "If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates," is available in a fully revised and updated paperback edition. Jim writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America's ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at

Former Vice President Joe Biden arrives to speak at an an event about affordable healthcare
at the Lancaster Recreation Center on June 25, 2020, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Beware Of Anti-Trump Republicans Who Endorse Joe Biden
By William Rivers Pitt

A stampeding herd of "anti-Trump" Republican organizations and PACs has flooded the 2020 presidential campaign with ads attacking the president and endorsing his rival, Joe Biden. If beating Donald Trump in November is your main thing, this would appear to be only good news. I am forced to wonder, however, what the real intent is behind this sudden solidarity after three long years of near-silence from the deeply compromised "Never Trump" crew.

It has been a fascinating election already before these right-wing voices chimed in. Trump is running for reelection with a trio of grand pianos on his back - his handling of COVID, the uprising and the economy - all of which he put there himself. Trump has repeatedly proven himself to be a DIY kind of guy when it comes to self-inflicted campaign wounds.

Trump's presumptive Democratic challenger, in contrast, is throwing darts from his basement and seemingly running away with the race. Biden, whose age puts him squarely in the high-risk category from COVID, has been running as if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was in charge of his campaign. Justly so: The mere fact that Biden is acting like a responsible human being is a good portion of the reason why he is currently ahead in the polls.

At this point, Trump's campaign staffers must flinch like dogs without their ThunderShirts whenever the Trumpian fireworks start, or as is usually the case, won't stop. Case in point: Trump went back to his blankie yesterday for yet another Fox News "interview," during which he said, "I think we're going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope."

Flinch. Everything in that sentence is wrong, infuriating and cruel. COVID is not going to disappear, even if a vaccine comes down the pipe tomorrow. "I hope" is not a policy for a nation that just notched 50,000 new infections in a single day, a record which leaves the grim daily totals from March and April in deep shade. "We're going to be very good" from a president with his execrable COVID track record to date is the verbal equivalent of rubbing the electorate's face in the rocks of a gravel driveway.

Donald Trump is the best campaign spokesman Joe Biden could ever wish for, because Trump will not stop damaging himself, ever. He is incapable of staying out of the spotlight, has no interest in talking points or strategy, and almost never knows what he is talking about when he starts flapping his gums at the cameras. His ceaseless lies about everything from Russian bounties on U.S. troops to the uprising to the pandemic are a feature, not a bug.

In the midst of this maelstrom, Biden pops up every so often like some grandfatherly Jack-in-the-box to remind people that, whatever else he may be, he is not that guy. He has out-raised Trump for the second month in a row, while Trump's own campaign spends its money on ads intended only to assure the president that he's a great guy and everything is fine.

All the momentum is on Biden's side at present, and Trump is only going to help him as we lurch toward the reckoning in November. So forgive me for being leery of this abrupt tidal wave of Biden support from Republican-based organizations. It puts me in mind of the old joke about the French aristocrat who sees an angry mob run by and says, "I must find out where my people are going, so I may lead them."

The newest entry into the Republican anti-Trump push is named 43 Alumni for Biden. It is a collection of hundreds of former campaign and administration members who worked for George W. Bush, the war criminal 43rd president. A list of members is not available so far as I can glean, but the group boasts a number of former Bush Cabinet secretaries and other high-ranking members whose names I'd love to know. Rumsfeld? Ashcroft? Rove? Cheney? Such is the possible character of Biden's new allies.

"Whether you worked in the earliest days of the 43rd Administration or sprinted to the finish in January 2009, you know a thing or two about serving the grand ideals and exceptional people of our country," reads the 43 Alumni for Biden endorsement. "Together we saw compassion in action, strength on display and the steady leadership of a true statesman who inspired us to meet some of America's greatest challenges."

I don't have time to fully parse the freight of "Oy vey" in that paragraph; if you lived through the scabrous eight years of the Bush administration, you don't need me to tell you how much unrefined bullshit is slathered on the words "compassion," "steady leadership" and "true statesman." Those hundreds of "43 Alumni" aided and abetted a murderous smash-and-grab robbery of an administration, and now they're piling in behind Biden exactly when he does not need their help.

Another Republican group that has been throwing hot shade at Trump is The Lincoln Project. The ads produced by this organization have been singularly brutal and ruthlessly timely, and Trump the TV fanatic is well aware of them. Each time another Lincoln Project ad airs, Trump Twitter goes seismic. The Lincoln spots are masterpieces of inflicted political pain, and further proof that conservatives are better at making killer ads than the Democrats ever were or will be.

Many who oppose Trump have rejoiced at the way these ads have been flaying him, but it cannot be forgotten that this same gleefully lethal energy also went into creating and distributing the GOP's racist Willie Horton ad attacking Michael Dukakis in 1988, and the wildly truthless swift-boat ads attacking John Kerry in 2004. With friends like these, etc.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter came out of the Democratic convention with a 33-point lead over incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford. Despite campaigning with the grand piano of Watergate on his back, Ford had clawed his way to a polling tie with Carter by Election Day, and only barely lost in the end.

For those seeking Trump's defeat in November, this is instructive history, and a warning against complacency. Biden is booming along right now while barely lifting a finger, but it is a long 17 weeks to the vote, and things can change in a day. The effective damage these GOP-aligned groups can do to Trump between now and then should not be dismissed out of hand.

That being said, those working to get Trump gone must be deeply wary of this new "help." These are the people whose policies and go-for-the-jugular campaign ethos made President Donald Trump possible, or even inevitable, in the first place. Here they are now, leaping on the Biden bandwagon in hopes we all forget the blood and tears soaking their hands.

Furthermore, if these right-wing organizations do manage to make a notable difference in the November outcome, they are going to think they are owed something for that assistance, and anything that pushes Biden even further to the right is a menace on its face for anyone seeking genuine progressive change.

Simply put: Never, ever forget who it is you're dealing with here. These groups do not oppose Trump because of his policies. They oppose Trump because he is bad for the Republican brand, full stop. The enemy of your enemy in this case is not your friend, at all. It feels too much like The Scorpion and the Frog all over again, and folks by now should be heartily wary of getting stung.

(c) 2020 William Rivers Pitt is a senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co_written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

The United States Supreme Court Building.

Topple The Electoral College
A Supreme Court ruling upholding restrictions on "faithless electors" does nothing to legitimize this antidemocratic institution."
By John Nichols

Donald Trump has convinced himself that defending statues of those who fought to preserve human bondage will get him reelected. In a carefully choreographed appearance at Mount Rushmore on the eve of the Fourth of July, the president, who has been complaining for weeks about efforts by anti-racist campaigners to remove statues of Confederate generals and agents of colonialism, fretted, "Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children."

As usual, the most historically ignorant president in American history is being cynical. Even the Trump-friendly Wall Street Journal acknowledges this reality, with a headline reading, "Trump Jumps on Preserving Monuments as Winning Campaign Issue: The president's aides see his defense of statues and monuments as a unifying issue beyond his political base."

Championing the memory of slavery's defenders will not win Trump the election in a year when even conservative politicians in Mississippi have accepted that the time has come to strip the Confederate battle emblem off their state flag.

But there is one shameful remnant from the past that could keep Trump in office: the Electoral College, an antidemocratic relic of unconscionable compromises made at America's founding that should never have been allowed to linger into the 21st century. This "college" has never operated as the quality-assurance mechanism Alexander Hamilton imagined would prevent those with "talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity"

from claiming the presidency. Superior contenders have often been rejected by partisan electors. And, with some frequency, the inferior presidents produced by the Electoral College have taken office without a popular mandate.

If this foul remnant of 18th century oligarchy-and the fears of Southern politicians that free and fair elections might one day undermine the power of slave states-isn't abolished or, at the very least, constrained, there is every reason to believe the Electoral College will continue upending popular democracy.

That's what Trump is counting on in 2020.

No serious poll since February has given the president a lead in the race with presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and the average of national polls gives Biden a 49.6 to 40.9 advantage. Several recent polls show the Democrat opening up a double-digit lead.

Yet Trump could still lose and "win"-as he did four years ago, when 54 percent of Americans cast ballots for someone other than the Republican nominee, and when Democrat Hillary Clinton piled up a 2.9 million-vote advantage over her rival. Trump's campaign is again targeting battleground states where he narrowly won in 2016 (such as Wisconsin) as well as those where he narrowly lost (such as Minnesota) with an eye toward repeating the scenario that gave their man the presidency.

The US Supreme Court just gave them what could be seen as a bit of a boost by approving crackdowns on electors who go rogue.

With a 9-0 decision, the court upheld so-called "faithless elector" statutes that are used to bind members of the Electoral College to vote for the popular-vote winner in their states. The challenge to those laws had come from Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig and others who argued that nothing in the US Constitution prevents electors from voting their consciences-as many have throughout history and as a handful did in 2016. With their embrace of the "faithless elector" statutes, the justices have undercut prospects that at least a small number of electors might revolt against a circumstance where Trump could lose the national popular vote by a dramatic margin and still be positioned for an Electoral College "win."

Conservative members of the court highlighted their concern that an effort to secure the presidency for the winner of the national popular vote-or for a compromise choice-might, in the words of Justice Samuel Alito, lead to "a long period of uncertainty about who the next president was going to be." Justice Brett Kavanaugh signaled that he was applying "the chaos principle of judging, which suggests that if it's a close call...we shouldn't facilitate or create chaos."

But the truth is that there is nothing more chaotic and antidemocratic than a system that allows the loser of the popular vote to become president-as has happened twice in the past 20 years.

Under the Electoral College's fundamentally flawed calculus, a candidate who is beaten convincingly in the national popular vote can still prevail with narrow wins in a handful of competitive states. In 2016 in Michigan, for example, Trump led Clinton by less than 11,000 votes out of 4.8 million cast, and yet he received all 16 of the state's electoral votes. And here's the truly frustrating reality: Different states have different systems for casting, counting, and recounting votes. Without an absolute guarantee of voting rights nationwide and an assurance that votes are cast and counted according to a single national standard, the electoral pathologies of individual states will continue to warp the Electoral College in ways that define the race for the presidency.

Even if the United States had a consistent voting standard across all 50 states, however, that wouldn't make the Electoral College a fair reflection of America. Defenders of the institution claim that it assures representation for smaller states. But in 2016, five of the 10 smallest states in the union (Vermont, Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine, as well as the District of Columbia) delivered more ballots for Clinton than for Trump. The real issue arises from the fact that the current system overrepresents small states in a way that can help popular-vote losers become Electoral College winners. Every state, no matter its population, gets at least three Electoral College votes. In 2016, that meant that an elector from Wyoming spoke for roughly 58,000 Trump voters, while an elector from California spoke for roughly 160,000 Clinton voters.

As America becomes more coastal and cosmopolitan, the imbalance could be even greater in 2020. And 2024. And 2028-unless Americans get serious about reform.

Ideally, the Constitution would be amended to eliminate the Electoral College. But amendments are a heavy lift.

Fortunately, there's another route to reform: the bipartisan National Popular Vote initiative. Promoted by the group FairVote, it commits the states to respect the will of the people as part of a multistate compact, under which states pledge to assign their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote nationwide. The compact takes effect only when states with a majority of the nation's electoral votes-270 or more-have signed on. So far, 16 jurisdictions with 196 electoral votes have agreed to the compact. Pro-compact bills have been submitted in additional states across the country, with both Democratic and Republican support; they should gain traction as the bitter experience of 2016 reminds Americans that something must be done to address the structural absurdity of elections that allow losers to become presidents.

(c) 2020 John Nichols writes about politics for The Capitol Times. His book on protests and politics, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, is published by Nation Books. Follow John Nichols on Twitter @NicholsUprising.

News Stories Reflect Growing Human Lunacy
By James Donahue

Columnist Thom Hartmann posted a recent column in which he argued that America's failed education system and a subsequent dumbing down of the people has been responsible for the destructive mess that has been going on throughout our country in recent years.

He wrote: "Many of today's biggest political issues, like our privacy rights, would not even be up for debate today had it not been for the attack on education. If more Americans had a strong understanding of our history, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would never been able to pull off the Patriot Act, we would never have put a radical character like Donald Trump in the president's office. Most of all we wouldn't be sitting idle while the current administration proceeds to dismantle the great government we had in place."

Hartmann raises a powerful point in his column. But the general stupidity of the citizenry is reflected more and more regularly in everyday news headlines.

Here are just a few we offer as examples:

Former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has never quite had both oars in the water at the same time, blamed the ISIS extremists for inspiring the deadly shootings of two New York police officers. That there was a general public anger over a series of stories reporting aggressive police actions, including the killings of various citizens throughout the nation at about that time didn't seem to cross Bachmann's mind. The increased violence by police and citizens against each other has been a troubling indication that people have begun to behave erratically for unexplained reasons.

The very existence and rise of the ISIS movement in the Middle East, North Africa and Indonesia has been another issue that goes beyond understanding. This group appears to be another radical spin-off of the Islamic faith. Its members appear with their faces covered much like the American Klu-Klux-Klan, only dressed entirely in black. And they are capturing citizens from all over the world and for a while were publicly beheading them in front of video cameras. What has been their purpose and why must they murder innocent citizens?

Not only are the ISIS members a growing problem, the organization also appears to be attracting new members from unexpected places. What is the appeal that is drawing teenagers from the U.S. and Canada to run away from home and attempt to join ISIS as "terrorist brides" and warriors? Many of the young men, those who have been captured in their efforts to leave the country, say they planned to carry the ISIS fight to the homeland.

What is it about such an extreme terrorist organization that attracts the youth? And why is it that extremists have emerged so frequently from the fringes of a religious belief system like the Islamists? Followers of Mohammad have been known for their peaceful ways. Yet the terrorist movements originating among the Moslems and especially those who carried out the 9-11 attack on the U.S. are giving all Moslems an undeserving black eye.

In the United States, we are watching a fierce political battle going on between newly elected "Tea-Party" conservative Republicans and the Democrats, headed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama, that has been raging since the day Mr. Obama entered the White House. That he is the first Negro to ever be elected to the presidency appears to have stirred up racial hatreds in the country. This rekindling of racism is now dominating the nation with Trump stirring the pot from his perch in Washington. This seems to be what the Tea Party is really about. Because of the in-fighting, little legislation is getting passed. Government offices are not getting financed. Consequently, government programs are failing to serve the public as well as they should.

Case in point: Efforts to curtail the COVID-19 virus that is currently sweeping the world is not considered a success in the United States due to constant political in-fighting between Trump supporters and his opponents. Issues like wearing face masks and keeping social distance in public are being hotly debated. Police killings of black men and women are stirring public riots. President rump appears unwilling or incapable of leading a nation in total distress.

President Obama and his team succeeded in pushing through a new federal health care system despite fierce resistance by Republicans. Consequently, the program lacks the bells and whistles designed to benefit the general public. And mistakes have been made in this department. The wrong information about health care benefits under the new program was mailed to an estimated 800,000 Americans that signed up. This information was needed for income tax filing that year. Because of the error the government was forced to allow for delays in income tax filings.

Was this sabotage or an honest mistake? We had to wonder since the Republican conservatives have spent most of their time in Congress voting on bills designed to repeal what they call "Obamacare." All of the 52 attempts to date have failed.

The militant Republicans pushed through a bill to approve and fund the controversial Keystone pipeline that would carry costly raw crude oil extracted from shale in Canada and the Northern Western United States, south to Gulf ports. The need for such a pipeline was questioned, and strongly opposed by environmentalists. A pipeline rupture would cause extensive damage to the environment. Also the opponents argue that the production of this oil is too costly to be a benefit to anybody. President Obama wisely vetoed the bill.

The legislators would agree to pay for a useless pipeline and expand our military but seem to have trouble passing bills that would reach out to migrants seeking entry to the United States, finance badly needed public works improvements or seeking solutions to global warming. What is going on in their heads?

On the commercial front, it appears that as the value of the dollar declines, people are paying more and more for products that are not only smaller in packaged size, but manufactured with inferior grade materials. Many products are being made in China and India and shipped to the U.S. People's pets are falling ill and dying from toxic pet foods. There are growing reports that generic drugs, which are being forced on American patients by insurance companies, also are lacking in quality and may even contain flour or sugar. The Supreme Court recently ruled that drug companies may not be sued over issues involving generic drugs.

Should we wonder why more and more people are walking into crowded buildings with guns blazing? Why citizens are rioting in the streets? Why the KKK is rearing its ugly head? The general insanity is spreading. The illiterate masses are angry and confused. They have no idea what to do about these things except to pick up signs, clubs and firearms and take to the streets.

(c) 2020 James L. Donahue is a retired newspaper reporter, editor and columnist with more than 40 years of experience in professional writing. He is the published author of five books, all dealing with Michigan history, and several magazine articles.

The Beginning Of The End
By David Swanson

The Beginning or the End may have been the beginning of the end.

If you imagine humanity existing a century from now in a society that includes history classes, you can expect, barring major changes, that U.S. text books will describe this as a time of peace, perhaps noting Trump's failure to assist the Venezuelans with greater humanitarian force, and certainly devoting a few sentences to Trump's enslavement to Vladimir Putin.

There will have been researchers and professors, who will have gathered up every scrap of information, every document, video clip, deathbed confession, and secret surveillance. They will have established beyond a shadow of a doubt that Donald J. Trump was a greedy fascistic imbecile guilty of an extravaganza of crimes and abuses who was never remotely in the service of Putin, who in fact routinely enraged Putin with sanctions, economic competition, the shredding of treaties and agreements, the expulsion of personnel, the bombing of Russian troops, and endless aggressive militarism and NATO expansion. And that knowledge simply will not matter.

This is how U.S. history works. In the absence of popular movements strong enough to rip down marble idols and generate public shame, U.S. history lessons omit everything they can and carefully mold anything so large that it cannot be avoided. A classic example of the latter is the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The latter city is largely avoided by focusing on the former, which cannot be avoided, so is lied about.

Why do U.S. history teachers in U.S. elementary schools today - in 2020! - tell children that nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan to save lives - or rather "the bomb"(singular) to avoid mentioning Nagasaki? Shortly after the events, the U.S. government set up a formal commission to study the question which concluded just the opposite, agreeing with the U.S. ambassador to Japan at the time, many of the scientists behind the bombs who had tried to prevent their use, and many of the top officials in the U.S. military at the time, who all believed that the war was already over, that Japan would have already surrendered if allowed to keep its emperor and would have soon surrendered even unconditionally with no nukes, and even with no U.S. invasion and no Soviet invasion. The Soviet invasion was planned prior to the bombs, not decided by them. The U.S. had no plans to invade for months, and no plans on the scale to risk the numbers of lives that teachers will tell you were saved. Lives, by the way, are not the unique property of U.S. soldiers. Japanese people also had lives.

Researchers and professors have poured over the evidence for 75 years. They know that Truman knew that the war was over, that Japan wanted to surrender, that the Soviet Union was about to invade. They know the bombing of Nagasaki was moved up from August 11th to August 9th out of fear that Japan might surrender before it happened. They've documented all the resistance to the bombing within the U.S. military and government and scientific community, as well as the motivation to test bombs that so much work and expense had gone into, as well as the motivation to intimidate the world and in particular the Soviets, as well as the open and shameless placing of zero value on Japanese lives.

But did they have to document all of this? Was any such work needed? Didn't Truman tell the public immediately after the crime that the motivation was revenge against Japan? Didn't he say that same thing until he died? Didn't he openly admit to a vicious, racist, hatred for the Japanese that was common cultural currency? Didn't people know very quickly that his claim to have bombed a military base rather than a city was a bold-faced lie? Didn't people read John Hersey's account of Hiroshima survivors and realize that there wasn't anything worse than the bombings that the bombings could have even theoretically prevented? Wasn't the accurate conclusion available immediately, rather than requiring decades of research? But wasn't it simply unacceptable, unwanted, out-of-step with the groupthink - just like pointing out that the odious Donald Trump doesn't work for Russia?

But how was the groupthink generated? Who helped people into the desirable myths? Well, here, noted author Greg Mitchell has just done us a huge favor with the story of how a grand Hollywood production was produced. The Beginning or the End was released by MGM in 1947 and heavily promoted as the next big blockbuster. It bombed. It lost money. The ideal for a member of the U.S. public was clearly not to watch a really bad and boring pseudo-documentary with actors playing the scientists and warmongers who had produced a new form of mass-murder. The ideal action was to avoid any thought of the matter. But those who couldn't avoid it were handed a glossy big-screen myth. You can watch it online for free, and as Mark Twain would have said, it's worth every penny.

The film opens with what Mitchell describes as giving credit to the UK and Canada for their roles in producing the death machine - supposedly a cynical if falsified means of appealing to a larger market for the movie. But it really appears to be more blaming than crediting. This is an effort to spread the guilt. The film jumps quickly to blaming Germany for an imminent threat of nuking the world if the United States didn't nuke it first. (You can actually have difficulty today getting young people to believe that Germany had surrendered prior to Hiroshima.) Then an actor doing a bad Einstein impression blames a long list of scientists from all over the world. Then some other personage suggests that the good guys are losing the war and had better hurry up and invent new bombs if they want to win it.

Over and over we're told that bigger bombs will bring peace and end war. An FDR impersonator even puts on a Woodrow Wilson act, claiming the atom bomb might end all war (something a surprising number of people actually believe it did, even in the face of the past 75 years of wars). We're told and shown completely fabricated nonsense, such as that the U.S. dropped leaflets on Hiroshima to warn people (and for 10 days - "That's 10 days more warning than they gave us at Pearl Harbor," a character pronounces) and that the Japanese fired at the plane as it approached its target. In reality, the U.S. never dropped a single leaflet on Hiroshima but did - in good SNAFU fashion - drop tons of leaflets on Nagasaki the day after Nagasaki was bombed. Also, the hero of the movie dies from an accident while fiddling with the bomb to get it ready for use - a brave sacrifice for humanity on behalf of the war's real victims - the members of the U.S. military. The film also claims that the people bombed "will never know what hit them," despite the film makers knowing of the agonizing suffering of those who died slowly.

One communication from the movie makers to their consultant and editor, General Leslie Groves, included these words: "Any implication tending to make the Army look foolish will be eliminated." Wow, that must have been a lot of clips littering the floor!

The main reason the movie is deadly boring, I think, is not that movies have sped up their action sequences every year for 75 years, added color, and devised all kinds of shock devices, but simply that the reason anybody should think the bomb that the characters all talk about for the entire length of the film is a big deal is left out. We don't see what it does, not from the ground, only from the sky.

Mitchell's book, also called The Beginning or the End, is a bit like watching sausage made, but also a bit like reading the transcripts from a committee that cobbled together some section of the Bible. This is an origin myth of the Global Policeman in the making. And it's ugly. It's even tragic. The very idea for the film came from a scientist who wanted people to understand the danger, not glorify the destruction. This scientist wrote to Donna Reed, that nice lady who gets married to Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life, and she got the ball rolling. Then it rolled around an oozing wound for 15 months and voila, a cinematic turd emerged.

There was never any question of telling the truth. It's a movie. You make stuff up. And you make it all up in one direction. The script for this movie contained at times all sorts of nonsense that didn't last, such as the Nazis giving the Japanese the atomic bomb - and the Japanese setting up a laboratory for Nazi scientists, exactly as back in the real world at this very time the U.S. military was setting up laboratories for Nazi scientists (not to mention making use of Japanese scientists). None of this is more ludicrous than The Man in the High Castle, to take a recent example of 75 years of this stuff, but this was early, this was seminal. The movie makers gave final editing control to the U.S. military and the White House, and not to the scientists who had qualms. Many good bits were temporarily in the script, but excised for the sake of proper propaganda.

If it's any consolation, it could have been worse. Paramount was in a nuclear arms film race with MGM and employed Ayn Rand to draft the hyper-patriotic-capitalist script. Her closing line was "Man can harness the universe - but nobody can harness man." Fortunately for all of us, it didn't work out. Unfortunately, despite Hersey's A Bell for Adano being a better movie than The Beginning or the End, his best-selling book on Hiroshima didn't appeal to any studios as a good story for movie production. Unfortunately, Dr. Strangelove would not appear until 1964, by which point many were ready to question future use of "the bomb" but not past use, making all questioning of future use rather weak. This relationship to nuclear weapons parallels that to wars in general. The U.S. public can question all future wars, and even those wars it's heard of from the past 75 years, but not World War II, rendering all questioning of future wars weak. In fact, recent polling finds horrific willingness to support future nuclear war by the U.S. public.

At the time The Beginning or the End was being scripted and filmed, the U.S. government was seizing and hiding away every scrap it could find of actual photographic or filmed documentation of the bomb sites. Henry Stimson was having his Colin Powell moment, being pushed forward to publicly make the case in writing for having dropped the bombs. More bombs were rapidly being built and developed, and whole populations evicted from their island homes, lied to, and used as props for newsreels in which they are depicted as happy participants in their destruction.

Mitchell writes that one reason Hollywood deferred to the military was in order to use its airplanes, etc., in the production, as well as in order to use the real names of characters in the story. I find it very hard to believe these factors were terribly important. With the unlimited budget it was dumping into this thing - including paying the people it was giving veto power to - MGM could have created its own quite unimpressive props and its own mushroom cloud. It's fun to fantasize that someday those who oppose mass murder could take over something like the unique building of the U.S. Institute of "Peace" and require that Hollywood meet peace movement standards in order to film there. But of course the peace movement has no money, Hollywood has no interest, and any building can be simulated elsewhere. Hiroshima could have been simulated elsewhere, and in the movie wasn't shown at all. The main problem here was ideology and habits of subservience.

There were reasons to fear the government. The FBI was spying on people involved, including wishy-washy scientists like Oppenheimer who kept consulting on the film, lamenting its awfulness, but never daring to oppose it. A new Red Scare was just kicking in. The powerful were exercising their power through the usual variety of means.

As the production of The Beginning or the End winds toward completion, it builds the same momentum the bomb did. After so many scripts and bills and revisions and work and ass-kissings, there was no way the studio wouldn't release it. When it finally came out, the audiences were small and the reviews mixed. The New York daily PM found the film "reassuring," which I think was the basic point. Mission accomplished.

Mitchell's conclusion is that the bomb was a "first strike," and that the United States should abolish its first-strike policy. But of course it was no such thing. It was an only strike, a first-and-last strike. There were no other nuclear bombs that would come flying back as a "second strike." Now, today, the danger is of accidental as much as intentional use, whether first, second, or third, and the need is to at long last join the bulk of the world's governments that are seeking to abolish nuclear weapons all together.

(c) 2020 David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Banner reading Recovery for People + Planet from Scotland demonstration. As
governments worldwide develop plans to recover from this pandemic's impacts, we have
to ensure it's a lasting recovery that puts us on track to confront current and
future threats, including the climate and biodiversity crises.

Green Recovery Gains Momentum As World Confronts Multiple Crises
David Suzuki

After the 2008 stock and housing market crash plunged the U.S. and world into economic upheaval, governments came to the rescue, with trillions of dollars in corporate bailouts. Executives at the insurance firm AIG were so happy with their US$152-billion package (more than U.S. and European countries spent in total on developmental aid the same year), they celebrated with a $440,000 trip to a luxury spa resort!

As with the 2008-09 financial crisis, CO2 emissions have dropped during the pandemic. But the 2009 economic stimulus and recovery ignited a renewed spike in emissions. The measures revived struggling economies and it wasn't long before industrial interests were again fuelling engines of habitat destruction, pollution, climate disruption and other environmental devastation.

COVID-19 is revealing that recovery's unstable foundation. As governments worldwide develop plans to recover from this pandemic's impacts, we have to ensure it's a lasting recovery that puts us on track to confront current and future threats, including the climate and biodiversity crises.

An International Institute for Sustainable Development study, conducted at the request of leading Canadian environmental organizations including the David Suzuki Foundation, argues any corporate bailouts and stimulus spending should come with "green strings" attached. Measures to stimulate the economy shouldn't make the climate crisis worse and should aim for a sustainable, equitable, resilient future for all.

...our recovery from this pandemic will be stronger if we correct course away from activities that cause climate disruption, biodiversity loss, environmental devastation and increasing disease spread - and exacerbate inequality.

As economists and others worldwide have been saying, our recovery from this pandemic will be stronger if we correct course away from activities that cause climate disruption, biodiversity loss, environmental devastation and increasing disease spread - and exacerbate inequality.

Former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor Mark Carney says the world can't afford to miss an opportunity as it did after the 2008 financial crisis. "You can't wish away the systemic risk," he said. "In the end, a small investment up front can save a tremendous cost down the road."

Research shows environmentally targeted stimulus measures offer as many or more employment and economic benefits as neutral or harmful measures. Studies of U.S. stimulus policies during the 2008-09 global financial crisis found green policies performed well, especially compared to fossil fuel infrastructure funding.

A survey of 230 leading economists representing 53 countries, published in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, found "green stimulus measures" were "among the most beneficial for the economy, as well as having strong potential to cut emissions," and "could help decouple emissions from growth, avoid stranded assets - and stranded jobs - and redirect the global economy towards a more prosperous net-zero emissions pathway."

The IISD study calls on Canada to adopt a range of measures, from making funding for industry conditional on measurable plans to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050, to ensuring support goes to workers and not executive perks, buybacks and dividends.

Study co-author Aaron Cosbey said government recovery plans will determine our environmental footprint for decades. "We'll end up spending hundreds of billions of dollars on relief and recovery - an unprecedented investment by Canadian taxpayers. It's the government's right and duty to attach conditions to that spending, making sure it drives us toward the future we all want: a green, prosperous Canada."

The European Union is already taking up the challenge, forming a "green recovery alliance," initiated in response to calls from European environment ministers "for the European Green Deal to be centralised in the EU's post-pandemic recovery plan."

"We are choosing to accelerate the ecological transition when the time comes to reinvest in the economy," said European Parliament environment committee chair Pascal Canfin. "COVID-19 has not made the climate crisis go away." Amsterdam is the first city to replace the antiquated economic growth model with "doughnut economics" as a guide for public policy decisions. Oxford University economist Kate Raworth developed the model, based on the idea that an economy should meet everyone's core needs within the means of the planet.

Many are feeling the effects of the pandemic - isolation, job loss, economic upheaval, illness, death - and the desire is to quickly return to "normal." But "normal" isn't good enough, as we learned in 2009. To ensure our well-being and survival, we must build back better. We have the knowledge, resources and research to do it. All we need now is political will.

(c) 2020 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Please Welcome To The Stage...The Ayn Rand Institute!
Along with the president*'s fatcat friends, plenty of anti-government types readily accepted big-government cash as part of the Paycheck Protection Program.
By Charles P. Pierce

Let us begin the blogging day by shooting a very big fish in a very small barrel. On Monday, the administration* grudgingly released the names of the people and the organizations that received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. And, as approximately everyone expected, the list was stuffed to the gunwales with fatcats, friends of fatcats, deadbeat fatcats, fatcat-financed organizations, and fatcats with political influence. For example, and here's one that covers all the categories, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice did very well for himself, as Forbes reports.

The coal-mining tycoon has served as governor of West Virginia since 2017 and, as Forbes detailed in an April 2019 investigation, hasn't been great at paying the bills. His Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, which shut down for two months from late March to late May, took a PPP loan ranging from $5 million to $10 million. The Greenbrier Sporting Club, a membership club that touts "luxury living," infinity pools and more for real estate owners in the 11,000 acres around the resort, took a loan of $1 million to $2 million in April. A representative for Justice did not reply to a request for comment. Greenbrier, as the magazine notes, did not retain a single job with that $5-$10 million it received from our gracious hands.
David Green, the Hobby Lobby king and distant associate of smugglers far and wide, picked up somewhere between $2 million and $5 million for his warehouse of dubiously acquired artifacts, the Museum of the Bible. This, Forbes tells us, saved 249 jobs. Of course, how many of those jobs were saved in shady bazaars in the Middle East remains unclear.

The private equity industry did very well by the program, and I'm sure we were all worried about those folks.

The AP got a great quote from Grover Norquist, whose foundation picked up a cool $350Gs from the government he wants to drown in the bathtub.

ATR, led by the antitax activist Grover Norquist, who has long supported a smaller federal government, said it didn't oppose the PPP. It described the program "as compensation for a government taking during the shutdown."
The New York Times gave the list a thorough going-over and found even more causes for hilarity. Kasowitz Benson Torres, founded and run by Mr. Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz, received a loan for between $5 million and $10 million. The firm represented Mr. Trump for over a decade before he was elected president, both in his business dealings and in other matters, such as helping him keep divorce records sealed. Mr. Kasowitz and the firm also represented Mr. Trump during Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election...

The president also appears to have benefited from government support, at least indirectly. While the Trump Organization did not apply for loans under the program, the data showed that dozens of tenants at buildings owned by Mr. Trump or managed by his companies received funds. One reported recipient was a hair salon in the president's hotel in Chicago. More than 20 businesses listed at 40 Wall Street, an office building near the New York Stock Exchange that Mr. Trump has owned since the mid-1990s, also reportedly received government loans totaling at least $20 million. And there was the white strategy that has been the hallmark of this administration.

North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas all saw loan approvals of at least 90 percent of their eligible small-business payroll, even though they rank among the least-affected states in terms of unemployment claims during the crisis. Two of the hardest-hit states for claims, New York and California, saw loan approvals equal to about three-quarters of their eligible payrolls; by that measure, California companies would have received billions more from the program if they had seen approvals at the same rate as the Plains states.
We all knew this was coming when the administration* consistently gamed the attempts by Congress to establish some sort of coherent independent oversight of the PPP program. And we all know that, should Joe Biden be elected in the fall, and then attempt to do something to ameliorate the damage for people who really need it, the usual suspects will deafen fruit-bats on Mars with wailing about The Deficit, and they will use the PPP program as evidence that government doesn't care about People Like You. From the NYT:
In a letter to four congressional committees last week, the heads of an independent accountability panel created by the law alerted lawmakers that lawyers for the Treasury Department were interpreting the statute in a way to exempt more than $1 trillion from scrutiny. "The administration should release the names of all P.P.P. borrowers - as the S.B.A. routinely does for similar loan programs," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the heads of the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration, which jointly administer the program. It came days after Mr. Mnuchin told a Senate committee that information was "proprietary" and not public.
But then, we all would have been deprived of a laugh in these troubled times. There was one politically connected foundation that got between $350K and $1 million from the program, according to Forbes, and which the group said would be "partial restitution for government-inflicted losses."

Would you please welcome to our stage...drum roll...The Ayn Rand Institute!

"It would be a terrible injustice for pro-capitalists to step aside and leave the funds to those indifferent or actively hostile to capitalism," Ayn Rand Institute board member Harry Binswanger argued in May, stating that the organization would "take any relief money offered us."
Harry. you kill me. You really do.

(c) 2020 Charles P. Pierce has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.' He lives near Boston with his wife but no longer his three children.

The Quotable Quote-

"I've said if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her."
~~~ Donald Trump

Coal And Covid
Trump Facilitates both in a backward US as Europe makes strides against Both
By Juan Cole

The US management of the Covid-19 crisis has been horrible compared to Europe, as the famous chart makes clear. I don't know if the bar-goers actually know how to read a chart, but that line going up is the US and that is bad, and the line hugging the bottom on the right is Europe and that is much better.

Covid-19 is a proxy for American backwardness. Oh, the U.S. is good at certain kinds of high technology, but in most respects the coronavirus crisis has revealed its underlying failure to develop its society. Vast class inequalities, poor wages for a massive chunk of the population, tying health care to employment at a time of tremendous unemployment, and severe racial inequities have all contributed to the scale of the catastrophe. Plutocracy, in which the billionaires decide on policy, is guaranteed to put profit before people, in ways that ultimately will hurt profits. Trump prioritized keeping the economy open, wiping out the progress made with the initial lockdown, and we lack a national response on testing and contact tracing.

The Trump team is said now to be preparing messaging that Americans will just have to live with the pandemic. Perhaps they are hoping for herd immunity, which will kick in when 60 percent of the population has had the virus. But a recent large scale study in Spain showed that achieving herd immunity may be impossible and in any case would take years. Moreover, that would be 198 million people, and even Trump admits nearly two million Americans would die of the disease if it ran wild to that extent. Only 1.2 million Americans have died in all our wars since 1776.

Trump has not only played down the dangers of Covid-19 in an unconscionable manner, he has championed dirty coal plants that are responsible for a big chunk of America's annual carbon dioxide emissions. In my state of Michigan, coal still generates about a third of our electricity, polluting lungs and contributing to global warming.

So here's the other comparison in the light of which the US does not look good.

Britain only has two coal power plants left, and this year it went 67 days without burning any coal at all. For a country that did everything with coal since the eighteenth century, this is a huge milestone. The remaining plants will be closed by 2024. For the first time, renewables accounted for nearly half of UK electricity generation in the first quarter of this year. About a third of Britain's electricity now comes from wind alone.

Spain is closing seven of its 15 remaining coal plants this year, and another four next year.

Even Germany, the biggest coal user in the European Union (it accounts for 28 percent of electricity generation there, almost as much as backward Michigan), has committed to phasing out coal by 2038. German greens want it to be way before then, and the continual drop in price of wind and solar makes it likely German coal won't go the distance.

I see a parallel here. Coal is a public health crisis, from which thousands of people die every year (lung and heart disease, mercury poisoning, etc.). But it is also the dirtiest fossil fuel and is responsible for a good deal of global heating, which is in turn another public health crisis.

Our president wants to subsidize coal and keep it alive, just as he wants restaurants and bars open at this time of rising infections, which has the effect of keeping covid-19 alive.

Trump may not be technically insane but anyone can see that there is something wrong with him. That he has these damaging and wacky ideas is not surprising. What is surprising is how much of America's elite is willing to go along with him. In contrast, in Europe the policies of the European parliament have put great pressure on member states to phase out coal and go low-carbon. Spain is responding to that pressure from Brussels. The US congress could also follow Brussels' lead if it wanted to. But 67% of senators would be needed to overrule Trump, and there just aren't that many GOP senators with common sense and backbone.

(c) 2020 Juan R.I. Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively on modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf and South Asia and has given numerous media interviews on the war on terrorism and the Iraq War. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years and continues to travel widely there. He speaks Arabic, Farsi and Urdu.

The Dead Letter Office-

Jerry doesn't like those damn yankee federal laws!

Heil Trump,

Dear Burgermeister Peterman,

Congratulations, you have just been awarded the "Vidkun Quisling Award!" Your name will now live throughout history with such past award winners as Marcus Junius Brutus, Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold, George Stephanopoulos, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Prescott Bush, Sam Bush, Fredo Bush, Kate Bush, Kyle Busch, Anheuser Busch, Vidkun Quisling, and last year's winner Volksjudge Samuel (the con) Alito.

Without your lock step calling for the repeal of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, your over ruling of the 1st amendment to the US Constitution, Yemen, Syria, Iran and those many other profitable oil wars to come would have been impossible! With the help of our mutual friends, the other "Rethuglican Whores" you have made it possible for all of us to goose-step off to a brave new bank account!

Along with this award you will be given the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds presented by our glorious Fuhrer, Herr Trump at a gala celebration at "der Fuhrer Bunker," formally the "White House," on 08-07-2020. We salute you herr Peterman, Sieg Heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

A boat taking part in a boat parade for the re-election of President Donald Trump passes
by Point State Park on the Allegheny River on July 4, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Roughly 30 boats and a group of 50 supporters along the shoreline showed up for the event though over 10,000 people had signed up online for the event.

Trump And The GOP's Handling Of Covid-19 Is Sheer Lunacy
The economy isn't roaring back. What's roaring back is Covid-19. Until it's tamed, the economy doesn't stand a chance.
By Robert Reich

Donald Trump said last Thursday's jobs report, which showed an uptick in June, proves the economy is "roaring back."

Rubbish. The Labor Department gathered the data during the week of June 12, when America was reporting 25,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day. By the time the report was issued last week, that figure was 55,000.

The economy isn't roaring back. Just over half of working-age Americans have jobs now, the lowest ratio in over 70 years. What's roaring back is Covid-19. Until it's tamed, the economy doesn't stand a chance.

The surge in cases isn't because America is doing more tests for the virus, as Trump contends. Cases are rising even where testing is declining. In Wisconsin, cases soared 28% over the past two weeks, as the number of tests decreased by 14%. Hospitals in Texas, Florida and Arizona are filling up with Covid-19 patients. Deaths are expected to resume their gruesome ascent.

The surge is occurring because America reopened before Covid-19 was contained.

Trump was so intent on having a good economy by Election Day that he resisted doing what was necessary to contain the virus. He left everything to governors and local officials, then warned that the "cure" of closing the economy was "worse than the disease." Trump even called on citizens to "liberate" their states from public health restrictions.

Yet he still has no national plan for testing, contact tracing and isolating people with infections. Trump won't even ask Americans to wear masks. Last week, Democrats accused him of sitting on nearly $14 billion in funds for testing and contact tracing that Congress appropriated in April.

It would be one thing if every other rich nation in the world botched it as badly as has America. But even Italy-not always known for the effectiveness of its leaders or the pliability of its citizens-has contained the virus and is reopening without a resurgence.

There was never a conflict between containing Covid-19 and getting the economy back on track. The first was always a prerequisite to the second. By doing nothing to contain the virus, Trump has not only caused tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths but put the economy into a stall.

The uptick in jobs in June was due almost entirely to the hasty reopening, which is now being reversed.

Arizona's Republican governor, Doug Ducey initially refused to order masks and even barred local officials from doing so. Last week he closed all gyms, bars and movie theaters. The governors of Florida, Texas and California have also reimposed restrictions. Officials in Florida's Miami-Dade county recently approved reopening of movie theaters, arcades, casinos, concert halls, bowling halls and adult entertainment venues. They have now re-closed them.

And so on across America. A vast re-closing is underway, as haphazard as was the reopening. In the biggest public health emergency in US history, in which nearly 130,000 have already lost their lives, still no one is in charge.

Brace yourself. Not only will the virus take many more lives in the months ahead, but millions of Americans are in danger of becoming destitute. Extra unemployment benefits enacted by Congress in March are set to end July 31. About one in five people in renter households are at risk of eviction by September 30. Delinquency rates on mortgages have more than doubled since March.

An estimated 25 million Americans have lost or will lose employer-provided health insurance. America's fragile childcare system is in danger of collapse, with the result that hundreds of thousands of working parents will not be able to return to work even if jobs are available.

What is Trump and the GOP's response to this looming catastrophe? Nothing. Senate Republicans are trying to ram through a $740 billion defense bill while ignoring legislation to provide housing and food relief.

They are refusing to extend extra unemployment benefits beyond July, saying the benefits are keeping Americans from returning to work. In reality, it's the lack of jobs.

Trump has done one thing, though. He's asked the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act. If the court agrees, it will end health insurance for 23 million more Americans and give the richest 0.1% a tax cut of about $198,000 a year.

This is sheer lunacy. The priority must be to get control over this pandemic and help Americans survive it, physically and financially. Anything less is morally indefensible.

(c) 2020 Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His latest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." His web site is

Haunted In Arkansas
My best birthday ever!
By Jane Stillwater

Boy did I just have an adventure. Spent two nights at America's most haunted hotel. Even had a paranormal experience. How cool is that! Woke up in the middle of the night with an unseen hand firmly holding me in place by my waist and an authoritative male voice saying "Don't move." Trust me, I didn't.

And then, as suddenly as he had arrived, the phantom was gone. You can't make this stuff up. Hats off to the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs Arkansas for giving me the best birthday ev-ah!

But I almost didn't get to Arkansas at all. "Ghost in the Machine". My plane was delayed at SFO, I'd missed my connection to Springfield, spent the night in a (haunt-less) hotel in Dallas and didn't get to Bart Simpson's home town until late the next day.

"Sorry, you're too late," said my rental car person. Fine. I'll just go over to that corner over there and cry for the next five days. However, due to blind luck that didn't happen either. A really nice American Native jumped out of nowhere and offered to be my driver.

"All the way to Branson? Then on to Eureka Springs?" Yep. "Really?" He had just saved the day. Road trip! First stop was for fried chicken, collard greens, creamed corn, ribs and blackberry cobbler at Paula Deen's in Branson. Yeah, I know she used the N-word. Hey, Paula! Black lives do matter. But she did apologize. A lot. Quite a lot. On national TV. Over and over. But still and all. A whole bunch of people in the South need to apologize on national TV too. At least Paula did it. But her blackberry cobbler was still kind of dry.

And then we stopped by the Cosmic Cavern, huge caves, far underground. Here's me, spelunking in Arkansas. Wow. Just wow. Living the life. And have the T-shirt to prove it too. Plus no road trip through the South would be complete without a pit stop at a firing range. "You need to lean forward, not backward, when you pull the trigger so as the recoil won't knock you back further." Nailed it! Better than Calamity Jane.

What's next on the menu? More chicken and biscuits!

And speaking of firearms, I hope that our nation's police officers have taken notice about how they all have been casually thrown under the bus by America's oligarchs. "De-fund the Police!" is all we hear these days -- but nothing at all about de-funding the oligarchs who they so faithfully serve.

The Ozark Plateau here in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas is so freaking beautiful, so very fresh and green, highlighted by its paleolithic limestone trim. And it turns out that Mary Ballard, my Cherokee great-grandmother, was actually born in the Ozarks too. She only moved to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and Roswell, New Mexico, later on. I gots Ozark DNA! How heart-warming are these green rolling hills. I could live here forever -- as long as I win the lottery first. And have access to wi-fi.

Back at Branson two days later, we went to a show -- Dolly Parton's Stampede. Trick-riding on horseback, dancing, comedy and real longhorns and buffalo too. And a whole rotisserie chicken apiece plus pork chops, biscuits, corn on the cob, cream vegetable soup and apple turnovers. Dolly herself wasn't in the show but they did play a video of her telling us that America was one country, united, and we'd better start acting like that. Or words to that effect. Dolly always has class.

There were 600 people in the Stampede audience. Only eight of them wore face masks. I counted. Wouldn't it be ironic if Missouri and Arkansas achieved herd immunity within just a few months -- while the rest of America is still hunkered down in fear and piteously whining that there is "no vaccine".

My American Native guide then dropped me back off at the Springfield airport. He had saved the day. He'd allowed me to play Ghost Busters at a genuine haunted hotel! Boundless thanks to him. Happy birthday to me.

(c) 2020 Jane Stillwater. Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you're at it, please buy my books!

The Cartoon Corner-

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Martin Kozlowski ~~~

To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

'No Donuts If Innocent Civilian Murdered': US Police Reforms Revealed
By Waterford Whispers News

COMPETING police reform bills are being put forward by the Republican and Democrat parties, with an emphasis on reshaping how policing is thought of in America.

Trawling through the bills WWN has gathered some of the stand out reforms proposed which should instantaneously solves all policing issues and systemic racism present in American institutions:

The requirement to undergo 40 hours of racial insensitivity training is to be removed under new proposals.

Chokeholds will be renamed 'police hugs'.

Pepper spray use to be used only in the most extreme cases; no longer permitted to be used on newborn babies.

In an attempt to find an effective way of getting police to see civilians as something other than target practice, the 'no donuts if you murder innocent civilians' provision is seen as the biggest step forward in police reform in decades.

"You're basically forcing us into a hunger strike" remarked one anti-reform police captain.

Full removal of the 'bad cop, extremely violent cop' interrogation technique.

Under the proposed laws, police officers will be told during training that it would be 'super cool' if they didn't join the KKK or any other far right extremist groups.

Police training facilities will be ordered to remove all apple orchards responsible for repeatedly churning out bad apples over last 50 years.

Those struggling with the new emphasis on deescalation versus violence will be trained in how to beat up white people and not just minorities.

Mandatory deployment of Swat team and rocket launchers at routine stop of innocent black teenagers no longer in use.

Lawmakers reserve the right to include enough loopholes in the reforms so that no police force has to adhere to any new measures if they don't feel like it.

Incidents where 10 police body cameras conveniently switched off by themselves as a member of the public is killed will now be required to be investigated before receiving an official shrug of the shoulders.

Officers willing to speak up about inappropriate use of force/murder by colleagues will be required to watch the movie Serpico before officially filling a complaint.

The practice of automatically giving promotions to officers who murder on duty will be abolished. Replaced with a more rigorous process comprised of asking the officer 'do you think you deserve a pay rise?'

Under reforms officers with more than 150 official complaints now run the risk of being moved to another police force with better pay and working conditions.

Going forward police can only be used directly by President or Attorney General as pseudo-fascist army to tear gas peaceful protesters on their days off.

(c) 2020 Waterford Whispers News

The Animal Rescue Site

Issues & Alibis Vol 20 # 28 (c) 07/10/2020

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